Broncos' zero tolerance for defensive flaws
They may have kept a team scoreless just a week ago but Broncos players say their defence against the Dragons was far from perfect as they prepare to meet the Knights at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
The Dragons came close to scoring on a number of occasions last Thursday night and had one possible try overturned by the review officials in the bunker but the Broncos held firm and insist there are further improvements that can be made.
Only the Eels boast a more miserly defence than the Broncos through the first six weeks of the season but back-rower Alex Glenn said the focus this week has been on eliminating the mistakes of the past.
"We weren't at our best on the weekend. There are a lot of defensive improvements that we can have," Glenn said.
"Even though we kept them to a nil scoreline there's a lot of defence that we weren't happy about and we've got to improve on.
"We've covered that in the video sessions at the start of the week and we know what we need to work on."
Wary of having their "pants pulled down" by a Knights team buoyant from their first win of the season last Sunday, Sam Thaiday pin-pointed the Newcastle forward pack as a strength that must be nullified.
The Sims brothers, Tariq and Korbin, both played under-20s with the Broncos while the likes of Pauli Pauli, Jack Stockwell and the Saifiti twins, Daniel and Jacob, offer plenty of power through the middle third of the field.
"We've watched a little bit of video on them and our forward pack is definitely going to have our hands full," Thaiday said.
"They've got some big boppers there that aren't afraid to charge in but with the Sims brothers in that pack as well they've got a lot of versatility and a lot of speed and size and strength that goes with it.
"We've got a couple of players in that team that are ex players as well who are probably going to stand up and have a crack. I know Dane Gagai is one of those players who will be one of their best on the night and will be playing a good, tough brand of footy."
With a nine-day turnaround the Broncos have taken the opportunity to work more conditioning into their field sessions and give them a more solid physical base leading into the representative games on the horizon.
With the Knights to start at the exorbitant odds of $6.75 Glenn says they are very conscious of not allowing complacency to creep into their performance.
"They're always the tougher games," said Glenn. "Everyone gives you raps and reckons you'll do it easy and that's where you sometimes fall into a weakness and expect us to win the game on the night.
"That's where we've got to train extra hard and make sure that we stay to our standards and turn up and play our hearts out and not expect the win just to happen.
"This week we've really stepped up the intensity of training. We've got a long turnaround so we have the opportunity to go a bit harder at training.
"We're dropping a few balls and that's just fatigue kicking in. We did a bit of fitness at the start to train us under those conditions and we've got to be able to execute well in those fatigued conditions because that's what happens out in the game."